Signature

38,316 Followers | @SignatureReads | Signature provides readers with unique points of view built atop a literary foundation. We feature essays, interviews, recommendations, opinion pieces, writing advice, and more from authors, journalists, experts, and readers.

How Hulu Bet It All on Handmaid’s Tale, And Won

Today Hulu’s cred as producer of its own original content speaks for itself, but as recently as a year and a half ago, that wasn’t the way they were perceived. This article in CNN Money shows how they elbowed their way into a spot at the already crowded table with studios such as Netflix and …

The Handmaid's Tale

Tasting Paris: A Chat with French Food Connoisseur, Clotilde Dusoulier

Food is at the heart of French culture – it is quite literally the bread and butter of their way of life. Clotilde Dusoulier, a French food writer based in Paris, knows just how important it is. She’s passionate about the fresh, wholesome foods that have influenced her lifestyle and career; she …

French Food

Weekend Rec: In the Woods by Thriller Writer Tana French

What better to shrug off the work week and head into the weekend than with a good psychological mystery from Tana French?<p>With her 2007 debut novel, <i>In the Woods</i>, American-born Irish novelist Tana French quickly made a name for herself as an emerging voice in the thriller/crime mystery genre. Her …

Books

The 10 Best Poems According to a Professor Who Teaches the Best 100

The Collected Poems of A. E. Housman<p>If there is one poem on this list that you should memorize, it’s this one. A.E. Housman, pessimist, classicist and connoisseur of melancholy, was also one the greatest formal masters of his age. The elements he employs here are deceptively familiar: the rhymed …

Literature

True Crime Subject ‘Golden State Killer’ Arrested

After decades of hunting, police have finally just arrested someone they believe to be the Golden State Killer, who is also the subject of Michelle McNamara’s <i>I’ll Be Gone In the Dark</i>. The author had worked with investigators on the case, and her book (released following her own untimely death) …

The Handmaid's Tale

Rare Birds: Fabulous Feathers and Their Fans, As Seen in The Feather Thief

In the eight-year expedition into the Malay archipelago taken by Arthur Russell Wallace, the British explorer and naturalist battled ants who would take over his home, wild dogs who would snatch the caracasses of any bird specimens left out for a second, and malaria. While he was in the thick of …

Birds

Are Gun Manufacturing and Industrial Life Inextricably Tied?

Samuel Galton, Jr., a prominent gun-maker in eighteenth-century Britain, was also a sincere Quaker. He eased his conscience about his business by reminding himself and others that everyone in his time and place was involved in one way or another in supporting the British government’s continual …

Gun Control

Crazy Rich Asians Trailer Incites Viewer Frenzy

Technically we all knew this moment would happen – a film based on Kevin Kwan’s <i>Crazy Rich Asians</i> has been eagerly anticipated ever since it was published in 2013. However, the frenzy over yesterday’s trailer release still managed to catch us off guard, with HuffPo even declaring the trailer itself …

Jokes

10 Books to Read If You Love Camping and the Outdoors - Signature

Simple Recipes for Camping, Cabins, and the Great Outdoors<p>What better way to get in the mood for camping season than a first class cookbook catering to the outdoor foodie? Built around easy-to-prepare recipes – several of which can be prepped well ahead of time – this book provides not only the …

Hiking

If You Loved "Love, Simon," You'll Love These 10 YA Novels

Obviously, we are going to have to recommend the source material behind “Love, Simon.” We forgive you if you saw the movie first. Simon is sixteen. He’s a drama kid in an Atlanta suburb who loves musical theater. He’s a little quiet. He’s also gay. Unfortunately, when another classmate discovers …

Books

Invisible Labor: 14 Quotes About Hard Work - Signature Reads

This week marks the annual recurrence of Bring Your Kids to Work Day – a tradition that loses its luster in times when grownups are driven to increasingly desperate means in order to provide for their families, to the extent that workplaces will allow it at all. We may aspire to help our kids …

Literature

UMT Needs Help to Save Its Creative Writing Program

Teachers and students are reaching out to the public to underscore two important facts about the University of Montana: how special its acclaimed Creative Writing program is, and how much danger it’s in due to impending budget cuts. Despite the prestige this program has earned for its school, the …

Creative Writing

19 'Great American Read' Picks That Have Been Made Into Classic Movies

This classic John Irving novel explores what happens when unthinkable tragedy strikes two eleven-year-old boys in 1963, when the best friends are playing a little league game, and one of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy’s mother. Owen Meany, the boy who hit the ball, happens to …

Literature

Here’s What to Read After You Finish “The Terror”

If you’re looking for more of Simmons’ particular brand of supernatural-tinged historical fiction, <i>Drood</i> is a great place to land next. Here Dan Simmons draws on the unsolved mystery of Charles Dickens final years, as well as the author’s final unfinished novel – <i>The Mystery of Edwin Drood</i> – to craft …

Books

Priya Satia Unveils the Violent Making of the Industrial Revolution

What does the term “Industrial Revolution” conjure for you? As the descendant of generations of men and women who toiled in the cotton mills surrounding Manchester, England, the immediate image in my head is always of some black-and-white line drawing or (later) photograph depicting workers …

Manufacturing

CrimeReads Celebrates 420 With Stoner Mysteries List

We probably aren’t the first to remind you that today is 4/20, the day appointed to celebrate cannabis consumption as well as weed culture. Instead of (or in addition to) watching some of the worst movies ever made – “Hansel and Gretel Get Baked” springs to mind – why not squeeze your brains a …

Books

Researching a Thriller: The Details You Keep, and the Details You Omit

At its core, <i>Warning Light</i> is a story of survival. The hero is Zac Miller, a young CIA analyst who volunteers for a field mission and quickly finds himself fighting for his life. Alone and in unfamiliar territory, he has to figure out his escape on the fly. Zac’s unfamiliarity with his surroundings …

Time I

The (Mostly) Fictional Characters We’d Want on Spring Break With Us

A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream<p><b>Raoul Duke</b><p>We’re definitely not certain we could survive a day or two in the sure-to-be mind-altering company of Hunter S. Thompson’s literary doppelganger, but have to admit the attempt would certainly be interesting. Gonzo, eccentric, hedonist, …

Books

The Best Texas Books, From Lonesome Dove to The Liar's Club

A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State<p>Lawrence Wright is best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning examination of the events leading up the 9/11 terror attacks, <i>The Looming Tower</i>. With <i>God Save Texas</i>, he turns his insight and investigative skill on his home state of Texas. Here, Wright …

Books

Mayhem, Humor, and Romance: Your Guide to Eric Jerome Dickey Books

Life is becoming increasingly and dangerously complicated for low-level Los Angeles enforcer Ken Swift. Juggling his ex-wife, the woman he loves, and a third he can’t get off his mind, his tangled love life is nearly as perilous as the jobs he takes on. When his estranged and pregnant daughter …

Books

A Guide to the Beloved Treehouses of Kid Lit

Have you ever noticed how many children’s stories revolve around treehouses? The Conversation has, and explores why a treehouse remains indispensable to a kid’s fantasy life, even though it’s likely that fewer children than ever have actually set foot in one. Among the more contemporary G-rated …

Books

The Happy Dilettante: One Poetry Lover’s Life in Poetry, Illustrated

When I was 15, in the mid-nineties, the thing I cared about most was hip-hop music. I’m tempted to say it was all I cared about, and for certain stretches of time it probably was. And like any obsession, it could get exhausting. But looking back I see a second layer of fatigue—that of trying to …

Literature

Reasons to Be Excited for the HBO Adaptation of 'Fahrenheit 451'

With Ray Bradbury’s landmark piece of dystopian/speculative fiction, <i>Fahrenheit 451,</i> headed for its 65th anniversary, HBO is bringing the story to the small screen. Originally published in 1953, <i>Fahrenheit 451</i> is widely regarded as one of Bradbury’s finest works. I picked it up for the first time in …

Literature

8 Books That Honor History’s Unsung Female Heroes - Signature Reads

Three Sisters, White and Black, in a Young America<p>Through Catherine Kerrison’s earnest exploration of the lives of Thomas Jefferson’s three daughters—Harriet Hemings and Martha and Maria Jefferson—readers are given an immersive look at the way race, class, and gender shaped colonial womanhood. …

Black History

Nobody Wants Handmaid’s Tale-Inspired Lingerie

It’s hard to imagine a more dubious tribute to Offred than this silky red number named after the heroine of <i>The Handmaid’s Tale</i>, which a sleepwear company called Lunya teased this week in a promo email. Cue the appalled responses from the internet’s mob of joyless buzzkills – except some buzzes were …

Librarianship

Barbara Bush, First Lady and Literacy Advocate, Passes Away at 92

Barbara Bush, the plain-spoken and quick-witted former First Lady who championed family literacy, passed away on Tuesday. She was 92.<p>Known for her candor, self-deprecating humor, and sharp-tongued wit, Mrs. Bush was a popular figure during and after her time in the White House. With her snow-white …

Barbara Bush

Your Favorite Classic Myths Reimagined in 10 Books - Signature Reads

<i>The only legend I have ever loved is</i><p><i>the story of a daughter lost in hell.</i><p><i>And found and rescued there.</i><p><i>Love and blackmail are the gist of it.</i><p><i>Ceres and Persephone the names.</i><p><i>—</i>from “Persephone” by Eavan Boland<p>The first time I had a formal introduction to Greek, and to a lesser extent, Roman and Norse …

Books

Critics Weigh In On A Higher Loyalty

Today’s the day when readers across the country finally get to read James Comey’s <i>A Higher Loyalty</i> and make up their own minds about its contents. Critics had a head-start, naturally, and LitHub has gathered a full bouquet of their various responses, revealing a spectrum of reactions to Comey’s …

James Comey

New Works of Poetry Get Political in 2018

<i>My heart rouses</i><p><i>thinking to bring you news</i><p><i>of something</i><p><i>that concerns you</i><p><i>and concerns many men. Look at</i><p><i>what passes for the new</i><p><i>You will not find it there but in</i><p><i>despised poems</i><p><i>It is difficult</i><p><i>to get the news from poems</i><p><i>yet men die miserably every day</i><p><i>for lack</i><p><i>of what is found there.</i><p><i>—</i> William Carlos Williams,</i> …

Literature

Lawrence Wright Demonstrates That Texas is a State of Multitudes

Texas.<p>Whatever the state evokes is likely big and a bit outlandish. In fact, the list of what is big and a bit outlandish about Texas is itself big and a bit outlandish: speculators—plural—who pulled predictions of the location of oil out of thin air and struck it rich anyway, the AstroDome …

Books